Skip to main content

Mourning Dove Management

Wisconsin is participating in a national plan to monitor mourning dove populations for harvest management. Biologists set a goal of capturing and banding 850 doves at several locations throughout the state with a small aluminum U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service leg band. This year, additional locations are being added in some northern areas of the state as well. Hunters who harvest a banded dove are asked to report them to the Bird Banding Lab online [exit DNR].

In recent years, the continental population of mourning doves was estimated at about 350 million birds, making it one of the most abundant birds in North America. The 10-year composite population trend for the Eastern Management Unit (states east of the Mississippi) has held stable, showing a 0.6% increase. Hunters should expect to see numbers of doves similar to the last several years.

Doves use a wide range of habitats but fields with an abundance of weed seeds or grain, open gravel areas, and water sources are all good locations to find doves.